Check out the significant works by contemporary Saudi artists to be exhibited at Maraya in AlUla…

A new exhibition, ‘What Lies Within’, curated by artist Lulwah AlHomoud – an influential figure in the Saudi Arabian art scene – will feature works from the private collection of Saudi patron and collector Basma AlSulaiman.

Basma AlSulaiman

To be displayed at the award-winning Maraya in AlUla from February 11 to March 20, this temporary exhibition will bring together works from the past two decades by some of the most significant artists of Saudi Arabia and its diaspora.

The artists featured are Manal AlDowayan, Shadia Alem, Adel AlQuraishi, Nasser AlSalem, Dana Awartani, Maha Malluh, Ahmed Mater, and Filwa Nazer, among others.

Each artist selected for the exhibition has a unique, holistic approach to exploring the past, present, and future, with a range of themes around heritage, identity, and place.

What Lies Within

AlHomoud commented, “Some art collections go beyond preserving memories and visual culture because they reflect a journey that can also shift how the public responds to art. Basma AlSulaiman’s passion and belief in Saudi artists has led her to acquire some of the most significant artists in the Kingdom alongside her international collection over the years.”

‘What Lies Within’ takes place as a highlight of AlUla Arts, the inaugural arts festival, and one of four distinct festivals under the winter events umbrella of AlUla Moments.

Here are three of our favourite private artworks to see at the exhibition.

Ahmed Mater, Magnetism (2009)

Ahmed Mater, Magnetism (2009)

The crisp black and white miniature combines art, science and the concept of religion and identity. Iron filings radiate around a black cube, an emanation of attraction that evokes a congregation of pilgrims thronging the holy Ka’aba. The unseen pull of Islam’s most sacred site is manifest in this moment of absolute equilibrium.

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Manal AlDowayan, The Choice and I Am (2005)

Manal AlDowayan

In bold black and white photographic portraits of highly skilled working women, AlDowayan addresses women’s historical contribution to the development of Saudi society.

Shadia Alem, The Black Arch (2011/2022)

Shadia Alem, The Black Arch (2011:2022)

Look out for a new iteration of Alem’s The Black Arch with site-specific audio and visual elements, connecting AlUla and Mecca. The work is exhibited for the first time in Saudi Arabia following its debut at the Venice Biennale. Alem has spent time in AlUla exploring its people, history and landscape to collect video and sound content that will be projected onto the work. The stainless steel, cast iron, fabric, and stone piece looms large and represents Alem’s past and present.

What Lies Within, Maraya Hall, AlUla, Feb 11 to Mar 20. @alulamoments

Images: Provided